A peek at the National Education Policy 2020

The Indian School Education system with more than 1.4 million schools and more than 230 million enrolments is one of the largest and complex school education systems in the world. In India, there are various curriculum bodies including National, International and State Government Boards which govern school education system. Indian higher education system, 3rd largest in the world, is primarily regulated by UGC, which applies its standards, advises the government, and also co-ordinates between the Centre and the State. Indian educational institutions consist of a large number of technological institutions under the control of AICTE. Besides, different other regulatory bodies including Medical Council of India, Bar Council of India etc. control different professional courses. Distance Learning and Open Education is also a feature of the Indian higher education system and is looked after by the Distance Education Council. Indira Gandhi National Open University is the largest university in the world in terms of the number of students.

Against this backdrop, the National Education Policy 2020 was released on July 30, 2020 which will replace the National Policy on Education, 1986. In NEP – 2020, skill education is given prime importance in both school and higher education. It aims to empower each student who will be completing 12th class in one vocational skill. Assuring quality education and its access in a Country like India has always been a real challenge. NEP – 2020 has a clear emphasis on this aspect with the goal of improving not only the quality but also access to higher education in the Country. NEP – 2020 aims to achieve the gross enrolment ratio to at least 50% in a decade or so and provides a flexible higher education system in which students will have multiple entry and exit points that creates opportunities for life-long learning. To promote a research culture in all higher education institutes, proposal for creation of the National Research Foundation as the central body for funding high quality research also deserves appreciation. Introduction of a proposed layered Accreditation system will differentiate between a degree granting stand-alone college and a full-scale University. Affiliation system will be discontinued, and teaching and research will be major activities in an institute.

NEP – 2020 also emphasized on internationalization of Higher Education with the aim of establishing India as a knowledge hub attracting foreign nationals and to promote research collaboration and student exchanges between Indian institutions and global institutions. Such an environment will provide not only seamless education but also promote free movement of skilled workforce across the globe. NEP – 2020 aims to achieve 100% youth and adult literacy.

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